WIth recent rain and snow, areas like Wise’s Landing in Trimble County, Kentucky have flooded. (Photo from the Trimble County Judge Executive Todd Pollock Facebook page)
WIth recent rain and snow, areas like Wise’s Landing in Trimble County, Kentucky have flooded. (Photo from the Trimble County Judge Executive Todd Pollock Facebook page)
A couple of days of heavy rainfall over the huge region that drains into the Ohio River and its tributaries has most local counties teetering on the edge of flood stage and some residents already evacuating ahead of this weekend’s projected crest.
Switzerland County Emergency Management Director Tom Moore said the river forecast for the lower gauge upriver at Markland Dam calls for the Ohio to crest at about 48.9 feet Saturday afternoon before leveling off on Sunday. That’s just shy of the 49-foot mark that triggers action by the county but well below the 51-foot level that brings minor flooding.
Downriver in Jefferson County Indiana and Trimble County in Kentucky, where there are areas at even lower elevation, some roads are already disappearing under floodwaters and a few residents are getting out.
Robert Getz, whose family of four and two dogs lives in a rental house on Coopers Bottom Road near Milton, evacuated Thursday with water lapping at the pavement on his only way out. He spent Thursday night in another structure owned by his landlord and planned to stay Friday night at Clifty Inn but is looking for a permanent address out of the flood plain.
“We’re looking to make a permanent move and pretty much get out of there,” Getz, who works at Arvin Sango in Madison, said. “We’re renting a room at the Clifty Inn but looking for a place in the Madison area because our kids go to Madison schools.”
Getz, who has lived on Coopers Bottom since October, is facing his first high water situation there but some longtime residents have rolled with the river and flooding for decades.
“Fortunately the people on Coopers Bottom sort of take care of each other,” said Andrew Stark, emergency services director for Trimble County. “And if they need help they can call us and we’ll send help to evacuate them but it’s better to get out sooner than to wait until it’s flooding. If they need help call 911 and we’ll be there but we encourage them to get out now if they think their area is going to flood.”
Stark said one or two roads are already going under water in Trimble — Wises Landing Road and Burkhardt Bottom Road are always the first to fall — and Coopers Bottom could be cut off by sometime today.
Stark said Trimble experiences considerable flooding at 52 to 53 feet on Markland’s lower gauge and if rain stops the county should be OK except for its lowest areas.
“We’re just hoping we get no more rain, but the rain we’re concerned about is the rain to the north and southeast of us. When they get rain, we get high water because water on the Ohio and Kentucky rivers all end up coming through here.”
Meanwhile, Stark was watching the flood gauge and planned to drive the county’s roads Friday in areas that flood to get a firsthand look at areas of concern.”
Across the Ohio River in Jefferson County, the first flood action was taking place on Hanover Beach Road.
Utility providers in Kentucky are warning residents to exercise caution in areas of flooding or where flooding has taken place such as never operating electrical equipment while standing in puddles of water, refraining from entering basements with standing water or attempting to operate any type of electric or natural gas appliances or equipment in those area and not attempting to relight gas appliances that have been under water.
LG&E and KU said the risk of electrocution and/or natural gas explosion increases in areas that are flooded or have been flooded and customers should immediately report any unsafe conditions, including electric or natural gas emergencies or downed power lines.
LG&E customers can call 502-589-1444 while KU customers should call 800-981-0600 and cutomers of both may visit lge-ku.com. Crews are available to respond 24 hours a day, 365 days each year.
Here’s the post by Robert Getz Thursday on Facebook with his contact information if anyone knows of a house his family can rent to occupy immediately.
“All right people of Madison, Canaan, Versailles wherever you are if you’re close to Madison I need your help. family of 4 needs a place to rent. We have two dogs! they can be outside dogs or both inside and outside. we need something as soon as possible. currently living in Milton Kentucky, but due to the high-water we are having to find other suitable housing please help... my number is 812-493-3551”